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Scientology’s ‘disconnection’ policy plays out in unbelievable scenes in a Florida hospital

[Brendan Tighe, talking Scientology with Megyn Kelly]

On Thursday, Brendan Tighe posted a remarkable glimpse about the crazy situations Scientology’s ‘disconnection’ policy puts people into. Namely, that because Brendan has left Scientology and its Sea Org and he went public with his experiences on Megyn Kelly’s show, his mother, still a loyal Sea Org member, has cut off all ties to him.

That became awkward when both of them went to a hospital to see Brendan’s grandmother and ran into each other. Here’s the brief story Brendan posted on a Facebook group…

A little backstory first. My grandma is in the hospital after two massive strokes. My mother and sister are both still in the Sea Org. I haven’t seen either of them in nearly eight years.

I went to the hospital to visit my grandma yesterday with my wife Kelly and our kids, and I honestly had no idea if my mom was going to be there.

We walked into a random small waiting room and my mom was there. She was on the phone and just got up and walked out.


We later went to my grandma’s room and my mom was there, and as soon we got there she walked out again in a hurry. I tried to calmly get her to stop by saying, “Mom, these are your grandchildren Emma and Mason.” She brushed past me and said “Great. OK,” but didn’t even stop to look at them. I said “Mom, really? You’re doing this now? This is your first chance to meet your grandkids?” She just said “Yep!” and walked away. I honestly thought she would at least stop and take a few seconds to introduce herself to her grandkids. I thought maybe she’d be on slightly better behavior with my grandma’s sister and nurse present.

The silver lining is that I caught my sister by herself at the hospital the day before and she broke down in tears of joy to see me and gave me a huge hug.

We told Brendan that the story was devastating, and we asked him if we could post it here at the Bunker.

He did even better than that, and sent us more to help us understand the situation. Here’s what Brendan sent us…

I gave the simple version of the story at Facebook but I’ll mention what I think are a few more important points.

My mom didn’t even come to the hospital until eight days after my grandma had a stroke — even though she was informed about it on day one by my grandma’s sister.

There was all kinds of confusion and my grandma had to transfer hospitals, which my mom used an excuse to show up at the wrong hospital a day and a half late, even though she was informed of the transfer. No other relatives made this mistake.

Upon arriving to the Sarasota airport early morning she did not come straight to the hospital but instead drove to Flag (she’s a Sea Org member in LA) and came to the hospital at 3 pm. This caused further upset with other family that were anxiously awaiting. When she arrived she brought my sister with her, but instead of coming to the hospital room they went to the cafeteria for an hour. I finally had to go down there to politely as possible call her out on her charade. Basically, that she was waiting for me to leave to go visit her mom.

She was about as cold as ice when I was talking to her. It was not an act. Nearly the entire conversation was mom making demands that I stay out of her way. My sister, however, looked like she was happy to see me. We said our goodbyes after talking for exactly three minutes. I recorded the whole conversation just in case.

I was about to drive away from the hospital but called my wife first and told her my only regret was that I forgot to tell them that I love them. And I also told my wife that it felt like my sister wanted to give me a hug. My wife urged me to go back and tell them I love them. So I did.

I found my sister standing in the hall without my mom so I approached her and started to tell her that I almost drove away without telling her I love her. Before I could get the words out of my mouth she grabbed me for a big long hug. I was very surprised. We talked for about ten minutes catching up on as much as we could. Every two minutes or so she would give me another hug. Surprising me each time. She did get into trying to do Scientology handlings on me and I told her “not now. This is purely family.”

Next I went into my grandma’s room where my mom was and told her that I loved her. Again total ice. All she said to me was “OK, you need to do your A to E steps.” I’m sure you know what that means. I acknowledged her and left. (My grandma is still half paralyzed and often unconscious/asleep and was at this time.)

The next day I came with my kids and wife for the first time. We walked into a small waiting room not knowing my mom was there. She was alone and talking on a cellphone. She gave me the hand signal like she wanted to wait to get off the phone to talk and walked out of the room but never came back. After about ten minutes we went to my grandma’s hospital room. As we got there she saw us and walked right out. That’s when I tried to introduce her to her grandkids. She showed zero interest in them. It was absolutely heartbreaking. I thought she’d at least pause and be pleasant for their sake. But she had no problem being stone cold in front of my grandma’s sister and nurse.

She took my grandma’s sister away with her, as she is staying at her house close to the hospital.


We had a previously scheduled birthday pool party at my grandma’s sisters house that evening for one of her grandkids. I was about to cancel so as to not cause problems but all other family involved insisted we come and specifically to not let my mom feel like she can push anyone around.

We all arrived together for the party and my mom looked horrified. She went around closing all the many curtains to the pool area so we couldn’t see her. My grandma’s sister forbid us from going in to one half of the house because my mom was there freaking out. This went on for about five hours. We just went about having a great time. All the kids and a few other family members kept asking “Who is that woman?”

It’s so thoroughly exhausting for everyone to play this stupid game.


Russian Scientologist sentenced to six years for home-selling fraud

Maria Sidorova, a Scientologist at the center of an investigation that led to repeated raids of Scientology orgs in Russia, was found guilty and was sentenced to six years in prison for an embezzlement scheme that defrauded shareholders in a plan to build apartment buildings.

As with any story coming from Russia, we caution you that it is almost impossible to know whether justice is actually being served. Despite repeated raids of Scientology orgs, official announcements that Scientology has been banned in some places, and other criminal prosecutions of Scientologists, information from that country comes from state-approved media.

(The one time we made the mistake of granting an interview with a Russian TV network, our words were made to appear that we meant the complete opposite of what we had actually said. We have turned down Russian media requests since then.)

Was this a Russian version of Reed Slatkin? Is it a good thing that a Scientologist is going to prison? Will Russia’s crackdown on Scientology continue, and will it have any effect in actually curbing the organization there? We have grave doubts about any information coming from there, and caution you not to draw any conclusions at this time.


Bonus items from our tipsters

Meanwhile, in Toronto…


From Don’s online bio: “McDermott has built a career in health-care administration — most recently as president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Corporation of Ontario. Now retired, he and his wife Joan run a consultancy to help social-profit organizations in the areas of board development and strategic planning.”


Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Erika Christensen, Ethan Suplee, and Juliette Lewis]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Scientology’s homophobia and its disconnection policy — still producing refugees today
[TWO years ago] Jon Atack: Scientology has a history of flip-floppers, including the founder’s son
[THREE years ago] What happened when one of our readers got into a Scientology ‘Flag World Tour’ event
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s trophy problem: Did David Miscavige lie, or did the IAS?
[FIVE years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology finally starts making its members superheroes!
[SIX years ago] Best Account of Life in Scientology? Jon Atack Makes the Case for Counterfeit Dreams
[SEVEN years ago] SCIENTOLOGY CRUMBLING: An Entire Church Mission Defects as David Miscavige Faces Leadership Crisis
[EIGHT years ago] Out-of-Work Journalists: Want to do Scientology’s Dirty Work?


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,499 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,628 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,132 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,652 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 672 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 563 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,870 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,738 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,512 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,286 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,632 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,198 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,117 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,285 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,866 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,127 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,166 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,878 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,404 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,493 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,633 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,953 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,809 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,928 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,283 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,586 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,692 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,094 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,966 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,549 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,044 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,298 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,407 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 6, 2019 at 07:00

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Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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